Career Lessons Learned From “The Hunger Games”

Move over Bella Swan, there is a new leading lady in the world of teenage fiction! 



Her name is Katniss Everdeen – the fictional star of the extremely popular trilogy, The Hunger Games. 

Oddly, while watching this (super realistic) story about a country who forces its children to kill each other, I couldn’t help but think there are some valuable career lessons to be learned from Katniss’s adventure.

1. Let Others Help You

Katniss is understandably wary of the adults who surround her during her trip to the Hunger Games. However, she soon realizes the value of her mentor, Haymitch, who may be a stumbling drunk most of the time but won the Hunger Games himself as a younger man. Clearly, Haymitch knows exactly what to teach promising young “tributes”. Along the way, Katniss meets others willing to help her succeed in her endeavors; once she opens up to the idea of receiving advice, she finds their counsel valuable.

Letting others in on your job search journey can be scary, but it is absolutely necessary. There are people who have been in your place before you ready to help you find your career path. Take advantage of their knowledge!

2. Embrace Your Strengths

When first heading to the Hunger Games, Katniss doesn’t know how she will become a real contender in the fight to the death – let alone win. Before simply giving up, however, Katniss reflects upon what she has learned in her young life that might help her succeed. It turns out that all of those hours spent hunting small game for survival will aid her greatly in her fight at the Hunger Games.

It can be difficult to realize what you are truly good at – but once you do, take advantage of the skills you already have developed. This will make your career path easier and you will ultimately be a more effective employee.

3. Look Out for Yourself

One of the most valuable lessons Katniss Everdeen teaches us throughout The Hunger Games is that you must look out for yourself. When she was young, her father died, and Katniss immediately took over the duties of hunting and gathering food to provide for her younger sister and mother.

When it comes to your career, you are your own advocate. Others will be happy to help you along the way – but you must make the big moves on your own.

Spoiler Alert: All of these skills helped Katniss Everdeen ultimately win the Hunger Games. By following her lead, you can find success and happiness in your career – and win your job search competition.



Early on in my job search, I put my resume on Monster – I knew it wasn’t a great resource, but it seemed like a logical step. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have my information on one more job board. Who knows? I might even get a lucky phone call.

Turns out, from Monster alone, I have received no less than twenty “job offers” in the last few months. None of them were careers I would consider accepting – all of them were 100% commission based, and at least half of them claimed to have found me through a “targeted search.” That’s weird… I don’t remember putting “I sell health insurance” on my resume. Let me check it.

Nope, the words health + insurance are nowhere to be found.

While these emails are annoying and spammy, they can serve as a little pick me up in the midst of a discouraging job search. Even though I know these aren’t positions I am willing to get into, or have any interest in, it’s kind of nice hearing that I’ve been “selected” to sell an organization’s prized product.

Guess that’s why my resume is still on Monster somewhere.

Have you received these emails? Do they serve any purpose – or are they just frustrating messages taking up room in your inbox?